Osteoporosis is a common condition affecting women in the United States. The doctors at The Women’s Health Center, located in Fountain Valley, California, provide diagnoses and treatment to their patients from throughout Orange County and the Greater Los Angeles area who have brittle bones.
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Osteoporosis Treatment Q & A
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a medical condition which causes the bones to become weak, thin, and brittle. This weakness can result in painful fractures. Risk factors for osteoporosis include being female, low body weight, aging, low sex hormones or menopause, smoking, and certain medications. Prevention and care typically include exercise, especially weight bearing exercises, calcium and vitamin D supplements, and osteoporosis medications.
What Are the Symptoms of Osteoporosis?
Many people don’t know they have osteoporosis until a trauma occurs. For example, a fracture is usually what brings the condition to their attention. There are other symptoms of the disorder which can include:
A gradual loss of height and an associated hunched posture
Fractures of the spine, wrist, or hip
When Does a Woman's Risk of Osteoporosis Rise?
Once a woman has reached menopause, their risk for developing osteoporosis goes up dramatically because of the slowing down of the body including cell reproduction. This is particularly true for Caucasian and Asian women. It's also expressly prevalent for women who have thin, small frames and those who have a family history of the disease.
Can Younger Women Develop Osteoporosis?
Teenagers and college-age women who eat very little or over exercise to maintain a low body weight put themselves at a greater risk of not having menstrual periods. This is a medical condition referred to as amenorrhea and is associated with decreased estrogen levels. This hormone imbalance may cause osteoporosis. A diet which does not take in adequate amounts of calcium and other similar nutrients can also lead to low bone density. Teenage girls who limit their diets and who don’t have a menstrual period are at a higher risk of osteoporosis and fractures. Young female athletes who attempt to achieve a low body weight for running or dancing are also more likely to develop amenorrhea.
When Should I Be Concerned About Osteoporosis?
If you develop a constant backache or sudden severe back pain contact your doctor for an assessment as back pain can indicate a spinal compression fracture as a result of osteoporosis. Dental X-rays can also reveal bone loss in the jaw, which can be an indication of osteoporosis.